I’ve had a couple of bad habits during the not-so-many years I’ve been alive. One of them were self harming. I’ve written very briefly about it before.

I used to hurt myself in three different ways. I’d cut myself with one of those disposable razors, I’d burn myself with a lighter and I’d dig my nails in under my ribs. With the lighter I’d just look at the flame, waiting for the iron part of the lighter to get hot. Then I’d press it to my arms. I was usually careful enough not to let it burn me too much, cos I didn’t want any visible wounds.

With the razor I’d pull it across my torso, not even going deep enough to bleed, just deep enough to sting. This part of my body is easier to cover up, so I wasn’t as careful about what the wounds looked like. I even have a few very faint scars. No one but me sees those scars they are so faint.

Digging my nails in under the ribs hurt like hell, but didn’t leave any marks at all. Nothing. Still I only did this when I was very sad and had no razors or lighters close by.

I didn’t do this shit for attention. I didn’t want any attention, so I was always extremely careful not to let it show. No open wounds, no visible scars. The reason I hurt myself is that when I was hurting physically the emotional pain wasn’t as bad. As soon as it didn’t hurt anymore the emotional pain would come back with double force.

I was also never really into cutting. I think I cut myself less than ten times in total. The burning on the other hand, that was really hard to stop. I didn’t even have to be really down to sit with a lighter to my fingers. Happily feeling the flames… I’ve been sitting in a café with a bunch of friends burning myself with no one noticing. Just cos it doesn’t leave ugly burns doesn’t mean it’s not hurting like a bitch.

I did stop with the burning eventually… But to do that I needed help from a counsellor. Sometimes I’ve been very close to starting again, but so far I haven’t. Those panic attacks I’ve written about? I was inches away from going looking for one of my lighters.